Because I don’t have much room to do any real breeding work at the moment, and until I can lease some more land, right now I am concentrating on keeping and making available a wide range of genetically diverse potatoes that are easy for anyone to access (sorry, only in Vic at the moment) so that other people can try their hand at breeding for their desired own traits.
This is why you will find varieties on my site that are not particularly great for productivity, or look strange etc. I am not about to dictate to people what sort of potatoes are ‘best’ or that they should grow. Everyone has their own goals and interests.
My breeding goals are:
1, Develop useful and practical novelty varieties. My customers tend to be more interested in fun and interesting colours, textures, and shapes than high producing but bland tubers.
I do have some production goals though, I do generally select for plants that produce ok, at least 1kg per plant, even for diploids.
2, Producing day neutral varieties that produce at least two crops per season. If I come across an exceptional variety that is short day (only produces tubers close to winter, so only one crop in a season) then I will keep it, but for the most part my varieties will crop at any time of the year.
3, Many of my varieties do not have a long dormancy period which makes them harder to store over winter in cold areas. I am trying to select for those that will store until ready to plant.
3, As our summers become hotter and longer I am selecting for varieties that will grow and produce in those conditions. Potatoes are known for reduced, or even no, yield in hot conditions and I am trying to help with that.
All my varieties are selected to be daylength neutral, and to produce tubers in the high heat of summer, but the tubers must be at least half the size of spring tubers. Eventually I would like to only have varieties that have the ‘small RNA’ turned off so the tubers are the same size at any time they are grown. Heat sprouting is severely selected against.
At the moment all the varieties you’re able to buy in the stores won’t grow decent sized tubers in high temperatures.
DISEASE – I don’t have any serious potato diseases so I am unable to select for disease resistance or tolerance.